Titoki farmer Andrew Booth has been chosen by the dairy sector to be a Climate Change Ambassador, the only dairy farmer selected in the Northland region.
He is one of 15 dairy farmers who will be championing the climate change cause as part of the Dairy Action for Climate Change, an 18-month long commitment by the dairy sector to help farmers understand climate change, the scientific research under way, and the environmental mitigations they can undertake on their farms right now to reduce their emissions.
"Andrew strives to farm using best environmental practice for his farm system," DairyNZ chief executive Tim Mackle says. "Not only is he a farming leader who has been ahead of the game, but he is heavily involved in his community and wants to share his knowledge with others.
"From today he will help other farmers understand the challenge of climate change and what options they have right now to reduce biological emissions on their farm."
Andrew and his wife Vicky sharemilk 430 cows on 174ha at Titoki, 30km west of Whangarei bordering the Mangakahia River.
Andrew's vision as a farmer is to show dairy farmers are doing all they can to enhance the land and environment they farm. The Booths have previously won the Balance Sustainability and Stewardship Award.
"I am always looking for ways to improve the way we farm and enhance our environment," Andrew says. "We want to ensure all water leaving our farm is of the highest possible quality.
"Riparian planting along Mangakahia River is one of a number of projects we are undertaking aimed at improving our environmental sustainability. I am not alone in undertaking riparian management and other projects. Thousands of farmers across New Zealand are doing all they can to help improve their environmental sustainability.
"I am looking forward to talking to Northland farmers about how we can be proactive in the climate change space, and help New Zealand reduce our greenhouse gas emissions."
Andrew Booth is the third generation of his family to take on the challenge of dairying in Northland. His grandfather developed the Titoki property out of what was scrub and swamp in the 1950s.
His father, Richard, went on to farm it and was a Dairy Board director, representing the Northland Dairy Company in the 1980s and 1990s. He was also an inaugural Fonterra director, a Kaipara District Council commissioner and a director of Northpower and Delta Kumara, based at Dargaville.
Andrew studied horticulture at Whangarei Boys' High School and completed diplomas in agriculture and farm management at Lincoln University. After he and Vicky travelled overseas, they returned to the home farm as lower-order sharemilkers. They are also involved in an equity partnership on an autumn calving farm at Purua milking 470 cows.